Re: Opie and protecting passphrases

From: Andrey A. Chernov (
Date: 08/05/01

Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 00:18:07 +0400
From: "Andrey A. Chernov" <>
To: Bill Fenner <>

On Sun, Aug 05, 2001 at 11:58:03 -0700, Bill Fenner wrote:
> I'd like to enable opie's "INSECURE_OVERRIDE" by default in FreeBSD.

I too. We can add just opposite option for admins which don't trust any
remote connection. Since nowdays most machines are servers with even no
regular console access, remote OPIE usage should be preferred and default.

> My reasoning is that:
> a) opie uses heuristics, which can't always be right.

Moreover, this heuristics not covers many secure connection schemes like
SSH, SRA Telnet, Kerberos, etc. It means that current OPIE effectively
prevents user to use secure connection in regular way. F.e. if his
password count goes to zero, with current variant he must ask sysadmin
each time to change it since opiepasswd don't know anything about his
secure connection and refuses to run.

Even running OPIE on console currently have problems too, because you
can't use things like 'screen'.

> b) The heuristics can be fooled, so they are not a panacea even if they're
> usually right.

Yes. F.e. for opiekey -f restriction leads to re-compiled (-f enabled)
unofficial opiekey distribution from users community (since opiekey don't
use s-bit and protected files, it is just calculator).

> d) Other parts of the system, like ssh, make no attempt to protect the
> user from typing a passphrase over an insecure connection.

Moreover, previous SKEY library which OPIE tries to replace now have all
this things enabled, so we need to enable them for compatibility reasons

I want to add a word about /etc/opieaccess too which is replacement for
former /etc/skey.access and contains trusted network numbers. This file
parsing must be enabled (compiled in) by default too for compatiility
reasons and various purposes like FTP tunneling via SSH (on single machine
without any trusted networks).

Andrey A. Chernov
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